about a dozen shells into Charleston
they were firing mainly with mortars at night.
A new commander was in charge of the Confederates
there, for Capt. John C. Mitchel
, First South Carolina Artillery, relieved Colonel Elliott
on May 4.
For some time a very few men of the Fifty-fourth had manifested sullenness and an indisposition to promptly obey orders, justifying their actions to themselves and others on the ground of non-payment.
Advices from the North
regarding Congressional action were surely discouraging.
, on April 22, had moved to add the Equalizing to the Appropriation Bill
, which was finally agreed to by the Senate; but the House
amended it as to the amount of bounty and the clause authorizing the Secretary of War
to allow full pay to those colored soldiers who had been promised it. In place, the House
inserted a provision allowing full pay only to free persons of color who were enlisted.
This the Senate refused to agree with on May 3. Two conference committees were appointed, but the House
rejected their reports.
used every means to secure the just claims of the men by letters to their friends.
His frequent applications for leave of absence upon this business had not been granted.
When informed of the threatening disposition of the few men referred to, he visited each post, addressed the companies, explaining the causes of delay, and counselling patience still longer; but he warned the disaffected that orders must be obeyed, and set forth the sure penalty of disobedience.
His words were disregarded in but two instances.
On May 12, a private of Company B, for refusing duty, was slightly wounded by a pistol-shot from an officer; and on the 21st another man (of Company H) was shot at